So what was the big deal with Delta One Suites A330Neo? Like on it’s bigger sibling A350, Delta for the first time in a while is offering a very competitive hard product in the form of a fully enclosed private Suite and with all the other latest tech updates that come with it! Lets find out how the new product feeds into the wider Delta One experience?!
I enjoyed my previous experiences with Delta One, and at one point deemed them to be perhaps the best American carrier. I planned to fly on their A350, but it seemed very difficult to book post covid Even though I have Flightrador24 membership which makes it easier to track specific aircrafts, the aircrafts appeared to be flying inconsistently to various routes.
On my trip to San Francisco with United Polaris, I decided to do a side-trip to Seattle to visit the Museum of Flight there, and instead of flying back to San Francisco I managed to find last minute Delta flight back to London and saving my United return for another trip!
Route: Seattle – Amsterdam
Flight No: DL142
Departure Time: 13:50
Arrival Time: 08:35
Flight Duration: Blocked at 9 hours
Aircraft: Airbus A330 NEO
Delta One Suites A330Neo Check In
I arrived at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport 2 and half hours before this flight into a relatively calm terminal..
Seattle is a big hub for Delta thus has a big presence in the check-in areas itself..
After checking-in on Delta’s app the night before, I already had my boarding passes. But it indicated I should still go to check-in desks to have my documents verified.
If you are flying Delta One, you can make use of the Sky Priority fast lanes, we is common with other SkyTeam carrier’s premium passengers
Even though there were not many people at the Sky Priority line, it seemed the lady who I went to was rather confused about the documents that needed verification. A little nudge to state I am just transiting through AMS, she finally managed to get back on the swing of things!
As I walked into departure area security, it was one of those rare times where you feel oh so glad you are flying Business. The regular security lines were enormous, and would have probably taken an hour. I whizzed through security in less than 10 minutes!
Delta Sky Club In Seattle
Holding an international Delta One or Skyteam Business ticket grants you access to the Delta Sky Club which I have reviewed here. As the title says, it was just mediocre at best. I would not come to the airport any earlier for this!
Boarding Delta One Suites A330Neo
Our flight was at the gate and on-time. However boarding was rather slow and just didn’t seem to flow well. I feel this is an area of weakness for many airlines!
If you are expecting your premium passengers get to the gate at a certain time, you should be sure you are actually ready to board them! Rather than having them to wonder around pointlessly fiddling their thumbs !?
Unfortunately, this is exactly what happened in this instance. When I arrived at the gate the indication was to take a seat but they did announce boarding will commerce shortly. It was a full 25 minutes later than Business Class passengers were about to board!
I made a conscious effort to board early so I can take some clear cabin shots, but alas this was nigh on impossible with this, and many other flights.
To add to this, even when we were scanned through to the jet bridge, we were then made to wait around again!
Supposedly they were still loading the catering. This made little sense why that would have stopped Business Class from boarding on this particular plane when the catering trolleys would not be in your way at all!?
Eventually, were were allowed to board, and even though I was the first one, literally every other Business passenger was right behind me…
Delta’s A330 NEO has just 29 Delta One Suites, all in the forward cabin. This is followed by 28 Premium Select (Premium Economy) seats right behind.
This is just a 6 month old plane so looked and smelled super fresh.
First impressions walking in, was just how white and clinical it looked! It was very bright and sunny at the time of boarding so that perhaps made the cabin look even more garish..
Each Suite has a 23″ wide blue leather seat which is the main recognisable element of Delta’s branding, a fairly large console table on the side, an adjustable mood lamp, and a large 18″ High Definition screen
There is some storage space right next to a water bottle holder, other than this, the console storage area is the only place to store things..
A pillow and bedding pack was placed in each seat..
As passengers settled into their seats, the crew did the welcome rounds, offering to showing them around the seat if they were unfamiliar.
Welcome drinks choices were also offered. I decided to to keep it soft so opted for an orange juice, but it was not fresh!
The seat seat and lighting controls above the side console were intuitive and very responsive
The IFE screen was crisp and felt quite large for the space, but in strong sun, it was hard to escape the glares.
The amenity has changed since my last Delta flight. Instead of the hard shell mini Tumi box, you now have a recycled fabric pouch. I couldn’t help but wonder if this really was about saving the planet or cost cutting?
But the actual contents have had a slight downgrade too. You have a recycled dental brush, a very flimsy pen, with a mini Alchemist hand cream and lip balm and finally some decent (though small) eye-shades.
Also placed in the Suite was a nice pair of slippers alongside the noise cancelling head.
The flap on the right hand side opens up with a mirror and remote control for the IFE
The crew also handed out some refreshing (cold) towels.
My Instagram polls from the flight suggested most would have preferred a hot towel. But in this case, I did not mind. Sometimes a cold towel can be just as refreshing, especially after departing a hot country.
There was a Qatar Airways 777 right next to us just as we were preparing for departure
Before take-off I had just enough time for a quick wander around the cabin again capturing the only free seat on this flight..
Delta One Suites A330Neo Service
We departed 40 minutes behind schedule onto a then overcast Seattle sky, however was still expecting an on-time arrival.
There was no proper menu on the flight other than this:
The rest of the menu was available via the IFE screen, but I entirely forgot to check it out!
Service began about 30 minutes after take-off.
First up was some champagne served with olives and cheese, instead of warm nuts you might be accustomed to in other airlines. At this point the lunch choices were also taken.
What was rather odd is there was nothing provided to eat the olives/cheese with. I would have expected some kind of pick at least, but nada.
If they expected passengers to just dig in with their hands, should they not have provided some wet tissue to clean your hands with after? I tried to ask about it, but I did not see anyone until my starter arrived!
And the starter arrived with bit of soup spilled in various places! It was apparent this particular crew member was rather rusty around the edges!
I liked the salt and pepper shaker that’s supposed to be an engine, but equally felt it was a shame they cheapened it by making this out of paper. Surely these things are reusable and thus can just be made properly?
I made the mistake of waiting for the main, before starting on the soup and salad, because the main took a considerable amount of time to arrive..
By that point, the soup was cold but I imagine it would have been rather nice, had I tucked in straight away ! The salad was good though.
I opted for the seared Beef Steak which was tender and moderately comforting food. It’s hard to go wrong with potato gratin too!
The dessert cart is now back, after pandemic related cutbacks.. I chose to skip the cheese course, and go for a chocolatey ice cream..
And that concluded the meal service.
The cabin lighting was dimmed fairly quickly after dinner service and I decided to chill out for a while with closed doors,
I did like the clean stylish vibes of the Suite when everything was dimmed!
While a lot of Business Class doors can feel rather flimsy, I was impressed with just how smooth and functional this Suite door was.
It felt rather cosy indeed to be in your very own private cocoon.
The rest of the cabin looked nice when the lights were dimmed but I still find it rather a missed opportunity for Delta not having anything in the way of Delta branding in the cabin
Delta One Suites Bed Setup
Delta does not provide any turn-down, so when I was ready to get some sleep, I noticed the bedding was no longer the Temperley bedding they used to provide..
Unfortunately there was still no actual mattress padding either, which is a shame, which it’s never as comfortable to sleep directly on the seat surface..
I only managed about 4 hours of patchy sleep and I was just awake after that to find a nice little note from cabin crew on my side console..
Delta One Suites Breakfast Service
About 2 hours to landing, I could hear the cabin crew preparing for breakfast service even though I was fairly in the middle of the cabin..
About 1 hour 20 minutes prior to landing, I was served breakfast, with a choice of either omelette or chia seed porridge. I almost always choose an omelette for an airline breakfast, so I thought I would try something different..
The porridge was served alongside some fresh fruit, pastries and some honey based dipped.
The porridge was healthy and refreshingly different. I think it was prepared overnight and served chilled..
I had some English breakfast tea as well as some more concentrated OJ!
With a full hour still to go after breakfast, I just enjoyed gazing over at the sky over Europe lightening up..
The cabin was prepped for landing around 30 minutes before and we landed 15 minutes ahead of schedule.
I was quite excited to fly Delta again, especially after many of my Delta A350 flights got cancelled. I would have preferred to be on the 350 as that is a larger aircraft and aesthetics is slightly better.
This ended up being one of those cases, where hype and expectation never quite matched with what the reality was.
Yes this is a nice product and is a true Suite. Certainly a huge improvement over Delta’s old A330, which are still flying with what is now a very outdated product. There was very little to be wowed over however. The cabin and suite mostly just looks dull and unexciting. In bed mode the seat can feel tight and the soft elements like bedding could really be improved here to enhance the product.
Service wise, although Kim, the CSM was lovely, the gentleman serving me was just sloppy and disinterested. There was very little enthusiasm or sense of pride about most of the service.
Delta has also made some very noticeable cutback’s in both catering and amenities. Given that, I have to conclude Delta is slipping here with standards of service. I think it’s unlikely it will make it into my top 10 . If you are keen to see what Delta’s other SkyTeam partners are like, check out my review of Air France and KLM
I will be reviewing United Polaris next month and also have a trip booked with American in the fall, so would be interested to compare all 3 big carriers in one year!